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Shakespeare Connected

Lab Contact: Jacqueline Cawston
Team: Katherine Wimpenny

Shakespeare Connected - Title GraphicOverview

The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust (SBT) want to connect with their audiences in new, innovative and disruptive ways. As project partners with the Disruptive Media Learning Lab (DMLL) this project wants to understand how technology can be used in conjunction with the SBT’s internationally important archive, library and museum collection to enhance audience engagement.

The UK Department for Education’s curriculum review has resulted in an increased requirement to teach Shakespeare at secondary level. Students and teachers must now work through two plays at KS3 and one at KS4. The SBT welcomes this opportunity for young people to experience the magic of Shakespeare’s stories, language and rich cultural heritage. The SBT recognises that the key to inspiring a life-long passion is enjoyment, and through their Shakespeare Week cultural and learning campaign have already taken steps to bring Shakespeare vividly to life for primary school children.

The challenge now is to maintain that sense of enjoyment and to encourage exploration and discovery by young people for whom Shakespeare might otherwise simply be another subject for exam. Through this feasibility study we want to understand the opportunities presented by this change in the curriculum and how they can be maximised through the use of new, innovative and disruptive technologies. We also want to explore a wider reach to students and young people who may be in further study. We want to engage classrooms and hard-to-reach demographics through embracing open, connected and innovative digital means to get people’s attention. We want to develop new disruptive media technology to get both children and teachers “fired up” about Shakespeare and to support and augment the classroom experience.

 

Plan

In order to do this we want to better understand how these audiences can be reached and connected with each other using digital technology. We also need to understand what is missing from the current experience of teaching and learning Shakespeare at this level.

We are therefore conducting a feasibility study with the support of a business consultant to find out how to reach and engage people (in particular 14-16 / 16-25 to include students KS3 and KS4 and at FE and HE and their teachers / lecturers) using disruptive media.

The timing of this feasibility study is perfect as the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death in 2016 presents exciting opportunities to connect with new audiences. This worldwide celebration of Shakespeare’s legacy will thrust the SBT into the spotlight and present a chance to reach schools, colleges and the general public during the anniversary year.

 

Technology Application

We aim to explore the value of using games technology, augmented reality, social media and other new technologies to engage people in the work of Shakespeare. The study will lead to further digital developments in collaboration with SBT and DMLL.

 

Project Timeline:

Start date

January 2015

End date

TBC

Status

Ongoing.


Phase 1: Preparatory analysis – state of the art ad future technical plan, (Jan – May, 2015) 

  • One or two example design outlines will be considered by the project team from which the main study focus will be agreed -This will include the digital tools and products for development.

Phase 2: Implementation study (dates tbc 2015)

  • At the end of this phase a development plan including finance and risk model will be presented estimating the income and expenditure for the project phases of the short listed options with a view to negotiating the next steps and how to proceed with main study

Phase 3: Main study (dates tbc 2015)

 

Research Findings to Date

The first stage of this project has been to conduct a feasibility study to find out how to reach and engage people (in particular 14-16 / 16-25 to include students KS3 and KS4 and at FE and HE and their teachers / lecturers) using disruptive media. Through desk based research we have explored the value of using games technology, augmented reality, social media and other new technologies to engage people in the work of Shakespeare.

Our feasibility report included:

  • Technology Horizon Scanning
  • What Teachers want
  • What Students want
  • International & International Reach

We have identified key spotlight areas for the next stage of the project as a result of this study, which present exciting areas for collaboration and research – watch this space!

 

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